Trump: Considering Powell and Taylor for Fed's top 2 posts

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump signaled Friday that he is considering dual nominations for the Federal Reserve's top two jobs.

Trump may appoint Jerome Powell, a member of the Fed's board, potentially as chairman, and John Taylor, a Stanford University economist, as vice chairman, according to a transcript of an interview with Trump distributed by Fox Business.

Asked about that possibility, Trump said, according to Fox Business: "It is in my thinking, and I have a couple of others things in my thinking but I like talent and they're both very talented people. It's a hard decision."

The interview is to air Sunday.

Speculation about Trump's choice has intensified on Wall Street and in Washington as several candidates have met with the president in recent weeks.

Powell has served on the Fed board for five years and has voted to support Chair Janet Yellen's low interest-rate policies. By contrast, Taylor, a favorite of some congressional Republicans, has long advocated a higher-rate policy to guard against inflation and asset bubbles.

Yellen, whose four-year term as chair ends in February, met with Trump at the White House on Thursday.

"I really like her a lot," Trump said of Yellen in the interview with Fox Business. "So I have three people that I'm looking at. And there are a couple of others."

Trump is also considering Kevin Warsh, a former Fed board member and former economic official in President George W. Bush's administration.

Gary Cohn, Trump's top economic adviser, has been under consideration, too, but reportedly fell out of favor after criticizing the president's response to demonstrations by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia in August.

During the presidential campaign, Trump sharply criticized Yellen, the first woman to lead the nation's central bank, as being too political in the Fed post. Trump asserted that she was keeping rates low to favor Democrats.

But since taking office, Trump has dropped his criticism and has praised Yellen, saying she's "done a good job" and favors low rates as he does.

"I will make my decision very shortly, pretty shortly," Trump said in the interview with Fox Business, according to a transcript released Friday evening.

Besides the Fed chair position, Trump can also name a vice chair, with Stanley Fischer having just stepped down from that post.

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AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger contributed to this report.